Category Archives: Jobs

Next Steps: Men Supporting Their Family

Next Steps co-coordinators Sue Emmons and David Goodyear will start weekly gatherings next week.

A local initiative to move fathers out of dependence to become self-supporting is restarting August 19.

Next Steps is a local program of Connections to Success that the Kansas government provides to work with men in transition from dependence.

New co-coordinators David Goodyear and Sue Emmons are starting a new term with the program, replacing Jean Tucker, who had to step down for health reasons.

“It’s a 14-week structured curriculum,” Goodyear said. “It has a three-day intensive ‘get to know you’, team building and skills assessment.”

“We are targeting men, but we are not exclusive,” Goodyear said. They work with women wanting to become self-sustaining as well.

Next Steps meets Mondays from 5-7 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Fort Scott.

First United Methodist Church at 2nd Street and National Avenue, is the venue for Next Steps.

“The program is a collaboration of churches,” Goodyear said.

It is comprised of facilitators, who lead the discussion on a chosen topic, such as budgeting tools, conflict resolution, how to present yourself to an employer, how to do a resume, etc.

“We focus on personal, developmental, relational, vocational and spiritual,” Goodyear said.

Other people in the program are dedicated to helping with transporting participants to the meetings, and childcare during the meetings.

Then there are mentors-people who walk beside another person.

As a mentor, he has worked to develop relationships to help participants with decision making on such subjects as managing money or family conflicts, he said.

Many are battling isolation, lack of value and lacking a sense of belonging, Goodyear said.

“There is dignity in providing for themselves…We’ve had pretty good success,” he said.

Participants must learn such attributes as the mutual respect of showing up on time and not disrupting in group settings, Goodyear said.

Ages of participants in the past have varied from people in their 20s to those in their 60s.

For Emmons, she had been aware of the program and had referred people in prior jobs and was asked to join Next Steps as a facilitator/mentor about six months ago.

For Goodyear, the most practical way to show someone the Gospel of Jesus Christ is building relationships. He has been in the role of both facilitator and mentor as well for about five years.

To him, 1 John 3:18, is the inspiration: “Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”

For more information: contact Goodyear through Fort Scott Church of the Nazarene at 620-223-0131 or Emmons at 620-224-8096.

Small Businesses Encouraged With New Partnership Offer

NetWork Kansas Logo

The Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce is initiating a partnership program that aims to cultivate an entrepreneurial environment in the community.

What is an entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur is an individual who, rather than working as an employee, founds and runs a small business, assuming all the risks and rewards of the venture, according to

The big-picture vision for this initiative is to move Bourbon County forward as a great place to start and grow a small business and where existing businesses have access to all the resources they need to grow and achieve their potential,” Bill Michaud said.

Michaud is the chairman of the Chamber’s Business Resource and Development Committee.

Bill Michaud is the chairman of the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce Business Resource and Development Committee. Submitted photo.


He and Chamber Executive Director Lindsay Madison are the primary workers to bring this initiative to Fort Scott, Michaud said.

“Lindsay Madison did the work to complete the application which resulted in us being selected,” he said. ” She and I have been the primary ones immersed in the details.”

Lindsay Madison is the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director. Submitted photo.

“The Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce representing Bourbon County has been selected by Network Kansas as a partner in the E-Community Program,  a partnership program that aims to cultivate an entrepreneurial environment in partner communities throughout the state,” Michaud said. The Chamber was notified in June 2019.

“Bourbon County was awarded this partnership opportunity through a competitive application process in which 14 Kansas communities were vying for selection and only five new e-community partners were selected,” he said.

 “The revolving loan fund and other E-Community resources can be the catalyst to build onto the many great improvements which have occurred in our community in recent years, “Michaud said. “This program is a resource that could help fund additional rehabilitation of downtown buildings which are currently very difficult to finance.”

 E-Community loan funds can be used for building acquisition, renovations, inventory, expansion, relocation, equipment and other purposes.

One of the barriers to starting or growing a business is access to funding.

  “The largest component of the E-Community Partnership is providing a locally controlled loan fund used to enable new business and existing businesses to overcome that barrier,” Michaud said.  “There also additional resources available through Network Kansas to help businesses of all sizes including a variety of programs through StartupKS.”

The E-Community program also provides funding for several approved educational and personal development programs. 

“These programs are geared toward teaching and developing potential and existing entrepreneurs,” he said.

Click below for a link to that inventory of programs:

The E-Community program was created through a Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship Tax Credit Program, according to the Fort Scott Chamber website.

Application Details

Applicants may include startup businesses and existing business purchases and/or expansions.

The minimum loan request is $5,000 with a $45,000 maximum amount available per applicant business, subject to availability. The terms for loans issued in the fiscal year 2019-20 will be 5 percent rate over a 10-year maximum term.

Applicants will be asked if the entrepreneur or business has a tax liability in arrears with the Kansas Department of Revenue or the IRS, or been involved in bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings.

Applicants will be asked to provide relevant details such as length of time in business, business name or entity changes, number of jobs to be created or retained, etc.

All business plans will be submitted with the application and should include key elements such as:

  • Executive Summary
  • Business Description
  • Products or Services
  • Short- and Long-Term Goals
  • Project Financing
  • Management
  • Ownership
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Description of Major & Prospective Customers
  • Description of Market & Competition
  • Financial Projections

Contact the Kansas Small Business Development Center at Pittsburg State University for assistance in developing a business plan, 620-235-4920.

How the application will be judged

The Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce Financial Review Board will use the following rubric to score all applications in the Bourbon County E-Community Program.

Criteria Strength (1-4) Weight (% of total) Weighted Score
Financial Soundness


Owner/Operator Experience


Business Plan


Owner/3rd Party Funding


Community Commitment





4 = Exceeds expectations 3 = Meets expectations

2= Partially meets expectations 1 = Does not meet expectations

Application Checklist

Be sure to include the following with your completed application:

  1. $50 Non-refundable Application Fee
  2. Business Plan including Financial Projections (1-year projection of profit & loss by month and 3 years of annual projections)
  3. Financial Statements (if an existing business)
  • Income statement and balance sheet from within the past 90 days
  • Income statements, balance sheets, and complete business tax returns for the two (2) prior year-ends
  • A current list of business obligations
  1. Applicant Resume
  2. Personal Financial Statement from within the past 90 days
  3. Three Letters of Reference
  4. Other documents relevant to the project
  • Proposed purchase agreement
  • The existing or proposed franchise agreement
  • Existing or proposed lease agreement
  • Real estate contract
  • Contractor bids
  • Appraisals and environmental reports
  • Partnership agreement
  • Articles of incorporation & bylaws

History Of Initiative

The initiative was established as a part of the Kansas Economic Growth Act of 2004 to stimulate entrepreneurship and small business growth as a priority for economic and community development in the State of Kansas.

Click here to learn more about Network Kansas and E-Communities.

Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce is located at  231 E. Wall St., Fort Scott, KS 66701 and can be reached at  620-223-3566  or email

NetWork Kansas Logo

Peerless Expands Assembly Lines: Needs More Workers

Peerless Products is hiring.

Peerless Products, 2403 S. Main, is the largest employer in Fort Scott with 420 workers.

And they need more assembly lines to grow their business, according to Dave Elliott, Peerless Products Culture and Morale Manager.

Founded in Fort Scott, Kansas in 1952,  they manufacturer high-performance aluminum architectural and commercial windows for new construction, replacement and historical construction, according to their website.

“We need to have the capacity to run more products through, to continue to grow,” Elliott said.

“We purchased the old American Standard warehouse in Nevada (MO) on I-49, we will use that as a staging warehouse,” Elliott said. “That frees up space in the Fort Scott facility for another assembly line.”

The employees the company is looking for?

“Somebody that has a good work ethic and a willingness to learn and grow,” Elliott said. In addition, applicants must have a valid driver’s license, and a high school diploma or GED.

The starting-out wage at the plant is $11 per hour, and “they usually work more than 40 hours a week.”

Day shift is from 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

“The hours on Friday depends on how much of the product is complete,” Elliott said.

Peerless offers a benefits package that offers health insurance, life insurance, a 401K and an “astounding profit-sharing program,” Elliot said.

Peerless also offers “employee care” activities such as chair massage a couple of times a year and currently are giving employees 20 lb. meat bundles. This processed beef and pork comes from what the company purchases at county fairs of 4-H animals.

Today, Aug. 9, Elliot and Karen Contreras will be at the Ellis Fine Art Center on the campus of Fort Scott Community College for a job fair.

Ellis Fine Arts Center

From 2-6 p.m. interested applicants are asked to bring their resume and come for a visit with the two Peerless Products representatives.


Young Entrepreneur: Hannah Vann

Hannah Vann, owner of Quick & Clean Auto Detail. Photos Submitted by Erin Vann.

This is part of a series that features area entrepreneurs under 30 years of age.

If you know of someone deserving this publicity, email with your name, why you are nominating the entrepreneur, their name and email/phone number.


Hannah Vann of Fort Scott, 16, was nominated to be featured as a young entrepreneur by her aunt, Trisha Newton.
In May 2018 Vann started her business, Quick & Clean Auto Detail, working from her home.

“Last year when trying to work while being involved in sports and school she was finding it hard to find a job that worked well with her schedule,” Newton said. “So she decided to start detailing cars during her spare time.”

Hannah said the original reason for learning to detail cars was an argument with her mom.

“I started my business after my mother and I got into an argument over me being sassy,” Vann said. “As a punishment she made me clean our Suburban.”

“She and my aunt always said it would be nice to have a good clean, rather than a $100 detail, of their cars,” Vann said. “I realized I had an amazing opportunity to start a successful business, that also worked around all of my sports and school activities.”

Hannah is the daughter of Tarrell and Erin Vann.

“The unique part about her detailing is that she is not charging a ton like a normal detail costs, instead making it an affordable, quick clean,” Newton said.  “Your basic vacuum/wipe down etc. for those busy people on the go and don’t want to spend an arm and a leg!”

The service includes an interior vacuum,  and cleaning of windows, floor mats, dash, console, doors, door and seat trim.

“I charge $35 for cars and trucks and SUV’s start at $45,”  Vann said.

“She has kept very busy all summer and continues to work hard for her customers,” Newton said.

“I have approximately 40 costumers,” Vann said.

Van can be reached at 620-224-8555.

Business Incubator: Offering Office Space to Entrepreneurs/Professionals To Start Up

The new Bourbon County Business Incubator offices  are located in the old SRS Building at 108 W. Second Street, Fort Scott.

A business incubator is being developed by Bourbon County to attract new entrepreneurs and professionals back to the area.

What is a business incubator?

It is a facility established to nurture young, startup firms during their early months or years, according to It can provide affordable space, shared offices and services, hands-on management training, marketing support and, often, access to some form of financing.

“The business incubator is still under development,” Bourbon County’s Economic Director Jody Hoenor, said. “But is available… it’s a county-wide service.”

“The vision is to have a workspace for a professional business, someone who needs office space,” she said. “The first six months are free, then rent is negotiable. The maximum stay is two years.”

“The point is to get their business up and going without initial opening costs,” she said

Skilled professionals such as web designers, architects, and lawyers. for example, who want to start a business, are the target for the incubator.

Retail would not be appropriate for the space, she said.

“Shane Walker (Bourbon County Information Technology) and Justin Meeks (Bourbon County Counselor) have been working on this before I started in October 2018,” Hoenor said.

There are six office spaces available, one with a reception area attached.

The largest of the offices shown by Bourbon County Economic Director Jody Hoenor is 11 feet by 23 feet. The other offices are smaller, but each has a window.

There is a lobby, conference room, kitchen space and bathroom that goes with the office spaces, and includes high-speed internet access.

Bourbon County Economic Director Jody Hoenor opens the door to the reception area, next to the largest office space available for skilled professionals to start up a business.

Hoenor can be reached at 210 S National Ave.,

Fort Scott, KS 66701, or 1-620-223-3800 or

1-620-215-5725 Mobile, or


Bourbon County repurposed the building at 108 W. Second Street, just west of the courthouse. Years ago it housed the Social and Rehabilitation Services offices, most recently the Bourbon County Attorney had an office there until that office was moved to the second floor of the courthouse.

Currently, the building is being used also by the community corrections office and the driver’s license bureau.




Express Employment Professionals: Help With Recruiting Employees

Kai Runnells, Express Employment Professionals Business Developer in her office at 119 S. Main, June 2019.

All across America, unemployment is low.

Nationally, total nonfarm payroll employment went up in May 2019 with approximately 75,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate remained at 3.6 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics June 9. Employment continued to trend up in professional and business services and in health care.


In Bourbon County, the unemployment rate is 4.1 percent, according to the website


A recent business opened an office in Fort Scott to help other businesses find suitable employees in this era where job seekers have diminished.


In April 2019, Express Employment Professionals opened an office in Fort Scott at 119 S. Main.  The franchise is based out of Independence,  since 2004.

The location of Express Employment Professionals, in between Fort Scott City Hall and  Crooner’s Lounge on Main Street.

“The staff and company provide businesses with their workforce needs,” Kai Rannells, business developer with EEP and the local representative, said. Rannells can be reached at 620-644-5050.

“There is a small fee for businesses,” she said. “This covers payroll burden liability. (The fee) varies on types of jobs.”

Because of the low employment rate, candidates without jobs need more coaching, Rannells said.

“Businesses are afraid of what it could cost to train and then retain employees,” she said. “That cost will fall on us. When a company brings in a new employee it costs a fair amount of money and if the employee doesn’t end up lasting, they are out that amount.”

EEP provides temporary or contract staff and do temporary to hire staffing.

“That’s where they start out temporary, and after probation is met, the company is able to hire them as a permanent employee,” Rannells said. “A lot of companies do that to make sure it’s a good fit for their team. We also do direct hires and professional searches.”

“We like to focus on helping people find the right candidate and job seekers find good careers,” she said.

“If someone is looking for a job, we do interviews to see what company would be a good fit of those hiring and we try to place them,” Rannells said. “It is a free service for job seekers.”

For more information about the services and EEP:

Ribbon Cutting For Job Program At Women’s Correctional Facility

Women’s correctional facility to hold ribbon cutting for coding program

Students to receive special message from Jason Jones, alumni graduate of The Last Mile program


Topeka Correctional Facility will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday, June 11, to celebrate the female offenders who have reached the halfway point in the inaugural coding class at 9 a.m.


Keynote Speaker, Secretary of Commerce, David Toland, will recognize the benefits of preparing more people for in-demand tech jobs, which aids business recruitment efforts. State officials and business leaders as well as business leaders from the tech industry will take part in the ceremony that will feature a tour of the classroom and facility.


Jason Jones is lead virtual instructor for the San Francisco-based, non-profit The Last Mile (TLM) which is partnering with the Kansas Department of Corrections and its education contractor, Greenbush, to bring the program to Topeka Correctional Facility. Jason will bring a message of inspiration, since he has been in the same situation as the students only one year ago and is now succeeding post-release.


The 15 women in the program’s first 12-month class are learning HTML, CCS and JavaScript to help them gain access to high-demand jobs upon release. Beyond technical skills, students also are learning business soft skills, including teamwork and communication.


“The Last Mile is proud to provide our coding program to the women at Topeka Correctional facility in partnership with KDOC and Greenbush,” said Chris Redlitz, TLM co-founder. “The Last Mile graduates will return to their communities with marketable skills, new opportunities and renewed hope for the future.”

WHO:        Topeka Correctional Facility staff and inmates, Acting Secretary of Corrections Charles (Chuck) Simmons, Secretary of Commerce David Toland, Greenbush Associate Executive Director Stacie Clarkson, The Last Mile (TLM) Co-founder Chris Redlitz and TLM Lead Virtual Instructor Jason Jones. State officials and business leaders from the tech industry also will take part.


WHAT:     Ribbon cutting ceremony for The Last Mile’s coding and technology training program at Topeka Correctional Facility


WHEN:     Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 9 a.m.


WHERE:  Topeka Correctional Facility, 815 S.E. Rice Road


Media are welcome to attend. Please note that all attendees will pass through a metal detector. Cash over $50, mobile phones, tobacco products and weapons are prohibited.


Topeka Correctional Facility, the state’s only correctional facility for women, has a population of 920.


About The Last Mile

The Last Mile (TLM) is a non-profit founded in 2010 at San Quentin to address the societal impact of incarceration as a drain on human and fiscal resources. TLM is the first full stack coding program inside US prisons. Its mission is to provide marketable skills that result in gainful employment and core belief is that having a job is the key to successful reentry and breaking the cycle of incarceration. TLM currently operates facilities in California, Indiana, Kansas and Oklahoma.


The program provides computer coding training to prepare its students for release into today’s high-tech environment. There is a projected shortage of nearly 1 million software engineering jobs by 2020. TLM graduates will be well positioned to qualify for many of these technology related jobs. To learn more visit:

Older Worker, Disabilities/Discouraged, Ex Offenders Job Focus Groups April 24: Get $ To Attend

Job Seeker Focus Groups Participants Wanted
TOMORROW, April 24th at
Fort Scott Community College
Hosted by Wichita State University’s Public Policy and Management Center, in coordination with
Wichita State University’s Public Policy and Management Center will host
Job Seeker Focus Groups
at Fort Scott Community College on
April 24th.
These sessions are in coordination with Southeast KANSASWORKS. The purpose of the focus groups is to gain feedback from individuals seeking employment who have barriers in finding a job or changing/advancing in their career.
There will be three sessions targeting the following audiences:
  • older workers
  • individuals with disabilities or those who are discouraged in their job search
  • ex-offenders
We are interested in learning about the participants’ job search, both successes and challenges. The focus groups will last approximately 90 minutes.
Focus group discussion will center on searching for a job, improving computer skills, using technology, interviewing with employers, dealing with challenges in getting to work, training at work, and more!
Refreshments will be served, and attendees will receive a $25 gift card for participating.
Seating is limited!
8:30am- Older Workers
10:30am- Job Seekers with Disabilities and those who are Discouraged
2:00pm- Ex Offenders
Fort Scott Community College
Administration Building- Greyhound Room
2108 South Horton
Fort Scott, Kansas 66701
Please call 316-978-6419
for more information

Youth Summer Jobs At The Fort

Summer Youth Employment Opportunity at Fort Scott National Historic Site

Youth Conservation Corps program

FORT SCOTT, Kan. – Fort Scott National Historic Site is looking for 6 energetic and outgoing teens to participate in our 2019 summer Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) program running Tuesday through Saturday from June 18 through August 10. This eight-week long program is for young people between the ages of 15 and 18 years of age. Shifts start at 8 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. with a one hour lunch. Salary is the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

For more information and to download your application, go to, or pick up an application from the Fort’s Visitor Center. Applications must be received by the park on/or before Friday, May 10, 2019, to be considered. You may hand deliver your completed application back to the Visitor Center or mail to:

Fort Scott National Historic Site
ATTN: YCC Coordinator
PO Box 918
Fort Scott, KS 66701

No previous experience is required, but a willingness and ability to work in a physically active outdoor program, get along well with others, and maintain a positive attitude are essential for success. YCC participants will learn teamwork and leadership while working in a variety of weather and conditions, participating in resource education, recreation, and NPS and other agency career orientation activities. Activities may include: ranger-led programs, Living History programs, being guest speakers, enrollee and staff presentations, assisting field rangers and/or scientists, and trips to other parks, businesses, and throughout the area. Enrollees will also spend time completing projects which may include: fence and bench building; repairing/rehabilitating historic structures; general maintenance work; painting/staining; and exotic plant control.

Job Fair AT FSCC April 2

The Fort Scott Area
Chamber of Commerce’s
2019 Spring Job Fair
April 2nd from 10am to 2pm
at the FSCC Ellis Fine Arts Center
The Fort Scott Area
Chamber of Commerce
is hosting the
2019Spring Job Fair
TOMORROW, April 2nd from 10am-2pm
at the FSCC Ellis Fine Arts Center,
2108 S. Horton, in Fort Scott
      The Job Fair gives employers the opportunity to recruit students and community applicants
from the Fort Scott area and beyond for both part-time and full-time positions.
Job seekers are encouraged to dress for success, bring copies of a resume, and be prepared to connect with employers.
Attendees may enter a drawing for a door prize of $50 in Chamber Bucks that may be used at over 60 Chamber member businesses.
See flyer below for a full listing of employers and positions
Contact the Chamber for more information
at 620-223-3566 or